NEW YORK -- Catcher Geovany Soto began his rehab assignment on Friday, catching five innings for Triple-A Round Rock and going 0-for-2. Soto, who had surgery on his right knee at the end of Spring Training, is hoping to return right after the All-Star break.
Right now Robinson Chirinos and Chris Gimenez are sharing the catching duties. Chirinos is the No. 1 catcher, but that doesn't mean Gimenez will be cut loose when Soto returns, as manager Ron Washington said that Gimenez could fill a role as a right-handed-hitting first baseman and designated hitter. He can also play the outfield if needed.
"Gimenez can do a lot of different things," Washington said. "It's not automatic he is going to be the odd man out."
The Rangers are carrying two right-handed utility infielders -- Donnie Murphy and Adam Rosales. They have also been staying with struggling outfielder Michael Choice, who went into Saturday's game hitless in his last 14 at-bats and batting .173.
Washington said that sending Choice to the Minor Leagues hasn't been a topic of conversation.
"We are not at that point yet," he said. "We are going to keep running him out there and see if he can make the adjustments."
Yu won't count All-Star chickens before they hatch
NEW YORK -- Yu Darvish was noncommittal on Saturday about the possibility of pitching in the All-Star Game, at Target Field on July 15.
"I haven't been selected yet, so I'd like you to ask me when I get selected," Darvish said.
Darvish will find out on Sunday night at 6 CT, when the All-Star teams are announced, but as he is 8-4 with a 2.63 ERA after 16 starts, he and third baseman Adrian Beltre are the Rangers' two leading candidates to be selected.
There is a much better chance of Darvish pitching in the game after the Rangers' rotation was adjusted this week. He had been scheduled to pitch on Thursday but was pushed back a day because of the threat of rain in Baltimore. His final start of the first half is scheduled for Wednesday, which would give him plenty of rest for the All-Star Game.
Manager Ron Washington said there are no plans to have Darvish pitch next Sunday against the Angels on just three days' rest. Darvish has never pitched on three days' rest in the Major Leagues.
"Darvish is a creature of habit," Washington said. "If you asked him to go on three days' rest, well ... You guys saw the fireworks in the city. He is a creature of habit. He likes to know when things are going to happen so he'll be prepared. And that's fine."
Washington is also fine with Darvish pitching in the All-Star Game if Red Sox manager John Farrell so chooses. Washington, who has managed two All-Star Games himself, just wants it to be one inning and/or 20 pitches.
"That seems to be the criterion when I asked other managers," he said. "'Twenty pitches,' they always said. I'm going to use that. If Darvish can't get through an inning in 20 pitches ...
"But you can't be an All-Star and be a spectator. They are trying to win. I'd encourage him to pitch. You're trying to win."
Washington expects Beltre to be an All-Star
NEW YORK -- When the All-Star teams are announced on Sunday at 6 p.m. CT, manager Ron Washington expects to hear third baseman Adrian Beltre's name included on the American League squad.
"If they don't take Beltre, it is a farce," Washington said. "How can you not take Beltre under the conditions that he has had to perform, and doing what he has done? Yeah, his home runs are down, but to be where he is and having to fight through a ton of adversity team-wise ... Beltre for sure."
Beltre went into Saturday's game against the Mets hitting .336, second highest in the AL. He was sixth in on-base percentage (.383) and ninth in slugging percentage (.515). He was also third with a .355 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Beltre, a three-time All-Star, acknowledged that being selected again would be an honor, but that he also wouldn't mind some time off to be with his family.
Rangers make another rotation adjustment
NEW YORK -- The Rangers continue to juggle their rotation. Nick Martinez had been scheduled for Monday against the Astros but has been pushed back to Tuesday, as the Rangers want Miles Mikolas to pitch on four days' rest following his strong outing in Baltimore on Wednesday.
Martinez was originally scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Mets at Citi Field, which would have given him a chance to hit in the National League ballpark and play before old friends from Fordham University in the Bronx. Martinez, who was drafted out of Fordham in 2011, was sorry he didn't have the chance to pitch in front of his pals.
"I saw a couple of them [on Saturday] night," Martinez said. "They are still coming to the ballpark on Sunday and sitting in the bleachers. They'll be out there."
Nick Tepesch, who will start on Sunday, has been pushed back twice because of the rotation changes. He was originally supposed to pitch against the Mets on Friday.
"It hasn't been tough at all," Tepesch said. "I've stuck to my program and been preparing myself. The day I pitch may change, but I still don't change the way I prepare."
Tepesch was in the bullpen on Friday night in case the Rangers needed a long reliever, but starter Yu Darvish went five innings, and Tepesch wasn't needed.
• At four hours and eight minutes, Friday's game -- a 6-4 victory for the Mets -- was the longest game in Major League history in which fewer than 15 runs were scored and the home team did not need to bat in the bottom of the ninth. It is tied for the sixth-longest game in Rangers history and second longest on the road.
• Shin-Soo Choo, after going deep on Friday night, has 13 leadoff home runs since the start of the 2012 season. That's the most in the Major Leagues in that stretch. Ian Kinsler has 10.
• Washington on the Athletics acquiring pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel: "They are smelling it, so they went out and got more pitching. ... They went out and reinforced themselves. Pitching is their strength.
"If that team stays healthy and they don't lose their big guns, those two guys aren't going to do anything but help them. They are going from a team that wasn't scoring a bunch of runs to a team that was scoring a ton of runs. Oakland is smelling it. It's not over by a long shot, but they are doing what they can to maintain. Anaheim and Seattle aren't going anywhere."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.